If you google my name, spelled in the unconventional way that I spell it, the first search results won’t having anything to do with me. They’ll reference another Dan Colman who, in the past year, has made a good chunk of change playing poker — including winning $15.3 million in one tournament alone. He apparently did it all without availing himself of MIT’s course — Poker Theory and Analytics — taught by Kevin Desmond, a graduate student in MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Desmond has competed at the top levels of the poker world and worked as a Morgan Stanley analyst, and he contends that being successful in both realms requires “balancing expected returns against associated risks and,” … and “the key to success is self-discipline.”
According to MIT News, Poker Theory and Analytics introduced students to poker strategy, psychology, and decision-making in eleven lectures.” Along with giving students the chance to play endless rounds of poker, the class featured guest speakers — “Bill Chen, a professional player best known for his appearances on the Game Show Network’s High Stakes Poker television show, Matt Hawrilenko, a Princeton graduate who won more than $1 million at the World Series of Poker in 2009, and Aaron Brown, chief risk manager at AQR Capital Management.” And it culminated with a live tournament.
You can access all of the lectures for the Poker Theory and Analytics course on YouTube, iTunes or Archive.org. (You can watch the complete playlist of lectures above.) And if you click here, you can get the syllabus, lectures notes, assignments, poker software, and more.